Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has taken an unsubtle swipe at Daniel Ricciardo following confirmation the Australian will join McLaren in 2021.
Ricciardo left Red Bull to join Renault on an initial two-year deal from 2019 onwards, but last season was disappointing as McLaren comfortably beat the French constructor to fourth in the championship. After Ricciardo’s move to McLaren was officially announced in place of Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz, Abiteboul (pictured above) suggested the driver did not share the team’s confidence in him.
“In our sport, and particularly within the current extraordinary situation, reciprocated confidence, unity and commitment are, more than ever, critical values for a works team,” Abiteboul said. “I am confident that the 2020 season will allow us to accomplish even more together. Our ambitions and the strategy of Renault DP World F1 Team remain unchanged.”
Abiteboul’s short quote was delivered in a Renault press release that simply stated: “Within the unprecedented context of the 2020 season, discussions held with Daniel Ricciardo concerning a renewal of his contract beyond the end of 2020 have not been successful.”
On Ricciardo’s part, the seven-time grand prix winner posted only about Renault and not his new team on social media.
“I am so grateful for my time with (Renault) and the way I was accepted into the team,” Ricciardo wrote on Twitter. “But we aren’t done and I can’t wait to get back on the grid this year. My next chapter isn’t here yet, so let’s finish this one strong. Merci.”